Instead of adhering to what the voters of the state’s two largest counties say they want (with their votes!) and respecting the democratic process, North Carolina Republicans will launch an initiative to make their candidates more attractive to such voters. This initiative will be called Project Listen.
Probably upset by last fall’s elections in which Democrats won all of the Wake County Board of Commissioners’ races and Kay Hagan carried both counties by margins in the tens of thousands, US Sen. Richard Burr and NC GOP chairman Claude Pope (who is of course related to Art Pope and is apparently resigning) announced a collaborative effort to “grow” the party Thursday.
Citing Wake’s and Mecklenburg’s fast growth, “it is imperative that our team of candidates have a better understanding of issues impacting these voters and how to better communicate with them,” an NC GOP press release states.
“This gives the NC GOP a historic opportunity to also become one of the fastest growing parties of the nation. To that end, we’re announcing our efforts to have an open, frank and ongoing discussion with all North Carolinians—regardless of party or ideology—about the values and common ground we share.”
Sen. Burr says the GOP is “not content to rest upon past victories” and the party “is ensuring continued growth and electoral success by better understanding the demographic forces shaping our state.”
And lest you’ll claim this effort is just “style over substance,” or “a move to the middle,” Pope personally ensures you that it is not.
“Let’s be clear,” Pope says. “We’re unwavering in our core values and beliefs. What we seek is a better understanding of individuals and communities that share those beliefs but may not identify with our ‘party brand.’”
Project Listen will be chaired by US Congressman George Holding and US Sen. Thom Tillis’ wife Susan Tillis. It will “provide feedback and tools we need to build bridges, form new partnerships and achieve common goals.” Then it will undergo an “issue research brand assessment program.” And a report will be issued to the NC GOP Executive Committee by the end of the year.